October 2014

Smart art

With a limited edition cover by Torbjørn Rødland


We thought it only fair to throw open the doors to the W* House and share with you how we’d fit out our dream digs. From consoles to cupboards, beds to bookcases, the W* House features our favourite pieces of design from across the globe, room by room. When it comes to sharing our finds, we wanted to keep things simple, letting you furnish your house with the click of a mouse, the Wallpaper* way. 

Selected gallery

Rooms / Study


'Stackable Desk' accessories

Price on request

Multidisciplinary practice Epiforma was established in Portugal early this year. Its design MO is geometric shapes rendered in bold colours, a simple visual language that's both eye-catching and minimal. The stackable desk accessories - a clock, container and magnetic cube - are made of black granite, natural wood and lacquered wood, a desktop tribute to the Memphis Group.


'Hi-Lo' shelves

Moving Mountains
Price on request

Humorous as well as rigorous, the 'Hi-Lo' shelves by designer Syrette Lew, operating from Brooklyn under the studio name Moving Mountains, contrast marble with plywood. A freestanding sculpture in the shape of a staircase, it is lined in bold blue, which adds a playful visual effect.


‘Ply’ socket

Christoph Friedrich Wagner
Price on request

We are intrigued by young German designer Wagner’s use of plywood, bringing a new aesthetic to lighting, furniture and small objects. His multiple socket, with a textile cord in a choice of colours, stands out as a simple update of a humble essential.


‘Pantographe’ lamp

Michele De Lucchi / Hermès

Tasked with turning the Hermès philosophy into a lighting collection, Italian architect Michele De Lucchi spent three years on the brand’s first lights. The ‘Pantographe’ is inspired by a draughtsman’s instrument, a poetic balancing act of leather and steel.


‘Tubo’ desk and chair

Sam Hecht and Kim Colin / TOG
Prices on request

One for our dream study, this fresh-looking desk and chair set features a combination of marble and plastic set onto steel frames. It was created by the design duo behind Industrial Facility for TOG, a promising brand that debuted at Salone del Mobile this year. Hailing from Brazil, TOG (subtitled ‘All Creators Together’) presents itself as a platform for dialogue between designers, creators and customers. Its collections are kept simple, with humorous touches and ample scope for customisation.


‘Neat’ desk organisers

Johan van Hengel
Prices on request

Rotterdam-based designer Johan van Hengel is behind a small yet perfectly formed selection of furniture and accessories that combine essential lines with a somewhat nostalgic aesthetic. With our penchant for rigour in the workspace, we were immediately attracted to his aptly named ‘Neat’ wooden trays, with metal edges of varying heights and colours. These not only partition a desktop (handy when you’re working in a communal space) but also hold stationery close to hand and, if necessary, slightly hide items or screen from view.


'Earthquake 5.9' bookcase

Patricia Urquiola / Budri

In May 2012, when an earthquake struck the Emilia region of Spain, stone company Budri’s marble and onyx slabs were shattered into hundreds of pieces. In an effort to turn catastrophe into triumph, Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has fashioned the stone fragments into a line of angular pieces of furniture including this irregular, hexagonal bookcase.


'Ernest' desk

Borja Garcia Studio / Punt

With its simple, straightforward oak or walnut construction, the 'Ernest' desk by Valencia brand Punt brings warmth and order to the office. Although traditional in appearance, Ernest is designed for the digital age, providing cable management through a channel in its back leg and storage for digital devices beneath its desktop.


'Fold' shelf

Nendo / Conde House

Constructed by the skilled craftsmen at Asahikawa-based furniture brand Conde House, Nendo's 'Fold' shelving is made up of seamlessly interlocking wooden boards. The zig-zagging design provides ample storage space that can be accessed from both back and front, making it suitable for use as a room divider as well as well as a shelving unit.


'Balotaro' bookends

Luis Arrivillaga / Luis Arrivillaga

This charming bookend comes from the mind of Guatemalan designer, Luis Arrivillaga. Eschewing the usual two-strong pairing, Arrivillaga's bookends come as a trio and also serve as desktop storage. Each wood and cast-iron form comes with hidden compartments where paper clips, erasers and other odds and ends can be concealed from view.


'Minima 3.0' shelving system

Bruno Fattorini & Partners / MDF Italia
Price on request

It's always a difficult task to improve on a classic without losing the beauty of the original. However, it would seem that Bruno Fattorini & Partners has managed to strike the perfect balance with its updated 'Minima' shelving. An aluminum bookcase with detachable panels, the 1997 original has been redeveloped with brightly coloured modular containers that can be slotted into the frame to create compartments.


'Deck' chair

Luca Nichetto / De Padova
Price on request

Venice-based Luca Nichetto was one of the busiest designers at this year's Salone del Mobile. And out of all of his product launches (he is a regular collaborator with brands such as Cassina, Foscarini, Casamania and Nodus), it was his versatile 'Deck' chair for De Padova that caught our eye. Although the design is inspired by seaside promenades, this is not a deck chair in the traditional sense. The chair's plastic structure comes with a variety of bases, seat and arm options to suit any environment from office to outdoor. In this case, a swivel base and upholstered seat make for the perfect desk chair.


'Arturo' desk

Christophe Pillet / Ceccotti

Italian cabinetmakers Ceccotti Collezioni can always be relied on to produce exquisitely crafted wood furniture. Its standout piece this year was this perfectly proportioned desk by french designer Christophe Pillet. its frame is made of American walnut, the inconspicuous central drawer of maple, and its angular structure is softened with rounded edges and a leather writing surface.


'Lit' lamps

Rodolfo Dordoni / Flos

At this year's Euroluce fair in Milan, Flos exhibited a jaw-droppingly beautiful array of new lighting designs by big names such as Paul Cocksedge and Philippe Starck. This perfectly poised task lamp by Italian architect and designer Rodolfo Dordoni was among the highlights. Available with a table or a clamp base, it features a tapered diffuser that provides an even, direct light.


'Radient' table lamp

Rich Brilliant Willing / Rich Brilliant Willing

American design outfit Rich Brilliant Willing deserves the spotlight once again for its satisfyingly minimal new 'Radient' table lamp. Casting a soft glow over a tabletop, the lamp has been fashioned out of metal and wood in the company's Manhattan studio.


'Stak' storage

Patrick Frey / Richard Lampert

We're no strangers to just a little creative clutter about the place. But with its clean lines and clearly defined structure, Patrick Frey's 'Stak' offers a more utopian ideal that we are now one step closer to achieving. The modular storage system comes in a palette of sophisticated colours, from neutrals to yellow and even pink. Available in various sizes, the slender steel containers, trays and trolleys slide simply into each other and can be installed with doors and drawers for greater discretion.


'R BRAA' desk lamp

Asaf Weinbroom Studio / Asaf Weinbroom Studio

Asaf Weinbroom's architectural desk lamp is one thing we wouldn't mind staying up into the small hours with. The Tel Aviv-based lighting designer's newest collection, Braa, is a creative juxtaposition of materials. Weinbroom, who predominantly works with wood, has used sand-blasted brass tubes, and details in Corian and Formica, to give the underpinning maple features an added touch of luxury. The full range also includes a linear ceiling lamp and several tabletop versions.


'BS 01' desk

Bruno Serrão / Wewood

Conceived as a compact work station, this desk embodies what we demand most from a work environment: a world of creative possibilities. Hidden under its smooth surface are eight drawers and compartments of various sizes for storing each and every work-related accoutrement. Designed by Bruno Serrão and skillfully produced from solid French oak by young Portuguese joinery company Wewood - without the use of any screws or nails - this is one hard worker.


'Beetle' chair

GamFratesi / Danish Crafts

We spotted this lovely specimen of an office chair among the exhibits at 'Mindcraft', Danish Crafts' annual ode to Danish design, which pairs the country's most exciting design talents and its established manufacturers to great effect. With its wiry legs on castors, the quirky 'Beetle' by multidisciplinary studio GamFratesi loyally references the anatomy of its entomological inspiration while still embodying Denmark's unmistakable, fuss-free sensibility. Comfortably upholstered and easily stackable, it's one bug we'd welcome into our office.


Wall clock

David Weatherhead / Thorsten Van Elten

Originally designed in a limited edition for an exhibition at Goodd called ‘A product of Geometry’, these wall clocks explore a sense of the primary, essential and formal in object design. With echoes of Bauhaus, road safety signs, and the back reflectors on a trailer, the elegant Douglas fir clocks have – of course - the added bonus of telling the time.


CSYS task light

Jake Dyson / Jake Dyson

Jake Dyson has cornered a niche for highly-engineered wall and floor lights, and the latest addition to his stable brings his meticulous attention to detail to deskwork too. In the design of the LED task light - available in black, white, blue, red and grey - Dyson has applied precision design to the control of heat, durability, colour and light distribution. Introducing an efficient cooling system to make the LED bulbs last even longer than they already do, the eco-credentials of the lamp give us an inner glow as well as lighting up our paperwork.

'Felt & Gravity' storage box

Amy Hunting / Amy Hunting

London-based Norwegian rising design star Amy Hunting uses an unusual combination of Douglas fir, 100% wool, solid brass and gravity for her collection of made-to-order storage boxes and tables. The hanging storage compartment is strengthened by the weight placed inside. The knock down construction is held together by solid brass nuts and bolts, and with the odd shapes of wood left over, Hunting has also made a series of bold blue book ends.


'Big Bounce' lamp

Jonah Takagi / Atelier Takagi

Jonah Takagi's work combines rigorous technical skill with an instinctive feel for the absurd. The results, like this lamp which looks like the offspring of a welding torch and a stethoscope, are both quirky and practical. Its 'big bounce', or reflected light, is provied by a disc that hovers above the light aperture.


'Calendrier Ring' calendar

Sebastian Bergne / Atelier d'exercices

Perpetual calenders are tricky things to design in part because you have to incorporate disparate elements and various date combinations in a cohesive whole and in a way that doesn't require a degree in advanced maths to read. Resembling a deconstructed astrolab, London-based designer Sebastian Bergne's 'Calendrier Ring' achieves the goal most admirably with just three interlocking circles. Dates are marked simply by lining up the relevant circle to a central rod that acts as both a hinge and date marker. In the Calendrier, Bergne, whose works have shown at the Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art has created a calendar that will never date.


'Homework' chair

Nika Zupanc / Nika Zupanc
price on request

We first spotted this chair and table at Spazio Rossana Orlandi during the recent Salone del Mobile in Milan. Amidst the frenzy of the week's exhibitions and shows, Nika Zupanc's pared back designs were a calming balm. We were particularly taken by the sinuous curves of the desk chair whose slender legs balanced on brass wheels. This charming nostalgic touch is replicated in the desk, a modern yet extraordinarily rationale interpretation of the traditional roll top desk. What appears at first glance to be a standard flat top table unlatches and lifts to reveal pleated concertina folds that act as shelving. Drop the lid and all your paperwork is hidden away. The proverbial messy desk just became a thing of the past.


'Job Cabinet'

Studio Job / Lensvelt

There's a cheerful Alice in Wonderland quality about this series of cupboards by Studio Job for Dutch office furniture retailer Lensvelt. Available in 13 exuberant colours, including a pinkish white and radiant yellow, these cupboards will brighten even the most dour of office spaces. Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel, the chief designers at the Antwerp and Netherlands-based Studio Job, say their design reflects the fact that offices are looking more and more like home. Which explains the quirky touches such as the oversized bronze key and flexible shelving system. The result, say the Dutch duo, is a storage solution that is a 'perfect symbiosis between industrial mass production and the personal object'.


'Volta' clock

Laure Gremion / Alessi / ECAL
price on application

It's never a good idea, especially in an office setting, to be caught watching the clock, but it's difficult not to make an exception with Laure Gremion's hypnotic Volta; the dizzying pattern is created by the movement of the second hand against a circular face spoked with 60 radiating lines. The result is, dare we say it, a timely reimagining of a quotidian object but executed with a quiet intelligence and restraint that bodes well for Germion's future. More so because the Volta is part of an imaginative series of desk and office accessories designed for Alessi by Germion and her fellow second year students in the industrial design bachelor programme at ECAL. For now, the Volta exists only as a prototype, but be assured we're barracking for its eventual production.


'Alog' shelving system

Johannes Herbertsson and Karl Henrik Rennstam / RVW

Here it is - proof that design really does make a difference in our lives. This modular shelving system from Johannes Hertsson and Karl Henrik Rennstarn is easily detachable and requires no fittings - rendering Sunday afternoon DIY sessions quarrel-free. The T-shaped design references the language of grids and allows for various compositions.


'Pen Monster' stationary case

Tomàs Kràl and Camille Blin / Okolo

Serial mislayers of writing implements can now keep their pens and pencils safely stored within the stylish locked jaws of the Pen Monster. Tomàs Kràl and Camille Blin came up with this wooden container after visiting the woodworking shop of Joseph Miele, where they were inspired by an avertical shaper. Each fiendish tooth encloses around a writing utensil, while a black screw on top locks them in place.


‘W101’ desk light

Claesson Koivisto Rune / Wästberg

A bright example of an all-Swedish collaboration between young lighting company Wästberg, forestry group Söödra and architects Claesson Koivisto Rune, this design is made from a cast iron base and DuraPulp, an entirely renewable, entirely biodegradable paper pulp-based new material. Lighting is from integrated LEDs.


‘Totem’ cabinet

Vincent Van Duysen / Pastoe

It's astonishing how some designers are even able to reinvent the box. Vincent Van Duysen's 'Totem', for Dutch manufacturer Pastoe, is a modular square tower made up of boxes that all turn independently of each other and can be individually customised by colour, finish, height and even the number of shelves within each one.


‘Overdose’ desk tidy

Bram Boo / Bram Boo
Price on request

A messy desk is often seen as a positive – the sign of an independent, creative mind. However, even those of a more orderly, logical bent need no longer come across as anything less than entirely left-brained: Bram Boo’s ‘Overdose’ desk tidy shows it is possible to fake a haphazard filing system in the most pristine work space.


'Secret’ desk

Markus Schmidt / Zeitraum

Manufactured by hardwood specialists Zeitraum, the 'Secret' desk is so called because of its discreet storage capacity: lift-up panels at the back provide a secure hideaway for a laptop, cables and a pencil or two. Made from sturdy solid oak, cherry or walnut, the design is pleasingly academic.